Sunday, March 28, 2010

Snakes Are Slithering at Bob Jones Nature Center

I love the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve in Southlake. It is a small nature preserve with beautiful wooded trails, gardens, and a great education center. We visited today so Nicholas could attend one of their classes about snakes. He's all boy so he gets into the whole slipper slimy snake thing.

The classes are small which I love. Their teacher was Ms. Monica who is really great with kids.



They have a very hands-on attitude about learning. My favorite is their "Please Touch" table. How cool is that? Don't you just want to pick up some of these neat finds and learn more about them?



Nicholas couldn't resist :)



The class learned about a Diamondback Rattlesnake...



And touched a King Cobra skin...



We watched Nicholas through the window for a little while after class started. He seemed to really enjoy it.



He made a paper snake in which you can lift his skin and see the skeleton underneath. He made a bracelet with the color pattern of a poisonous coral snake...red on yellow, kill a fellow... And they even painted a wooden Cobra that wiggles around like a real snake. He was in good hands so I spent most of the hour and a half with Rachel exploring a small part of the nature preserve.

Rachel made a new friend, Pointy the Bearded Dragon. She spent a lot of time in front of him. She would wander around a bit but always came back to wave to Pointy one more time before she was off again.




Ms. Monica even let us explore one of their classrooms. Rachel thought these were neat to look at although she obviously had no idea what she was looking at.



She enjoyed the basket of rocks but is still trying to figure out what a magnifying glass is all about.



She rubbed on this strip of animal hide. The fur was soft and fun to play with.



I've recently mentioned how Rachel likes to sit on things. Anything. Here she found a little gold wire easel that held up a small book for display. She put it on the floor and tried to sit on it! Silly girl!



So many fun things on display to touch and feel. I was loving it as much as Rachel.



Rachel missed out on the snake class but she still got to look at a snake through the glass.



Of course, she loved the ramp. Up and down, up and down, the pitter patter of little feet. Again, and again, and again, and again...



She seemed a little startled when she looked up and saw this possum staring at her (no, it's not real!)



Next we went for a walk outside. Rachel was obsessed with walking into the gravel parking lot to pick up rocks. Not the safest place for a little one. So with some coaxing (and some grunts of frustration from the little one) we eventually made it over to a little garden. I thought it would be a nice quiet place to rest for a bit. Wrong! She pulled up plant labels out of the flower beds and tried to rearrange the stepping stones. Always into something!



She found a stick and tried to draw on a tree stump with it. I love her little tongue sticking out as she works so hard on her stick drawing.



And of course, more repetition could be had walking back and forth on top of the rocks outlining the garden. Back and forth, back and forth.



There are many wonderful things to do at the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve. There are lots of classes to enjoy. Nicholas' class was part of the Adventure Club which is geared to ages 5-8. However, there is also a Young Explorers class series for ages 3-5 as well as classes for adults, including nature photography classes which I'd love to take.

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